By MAGGIE M, Publisher, Wedgee-in-Chief, theWedge.LIVE
As I began my daily ritual, reading the printed word on the front porch at 7am, fog had settled in. An odd morning for July.
It was a sign.
It was a metaphor for the future of Canopy Growth. The news of the termination of its great leader, Bruce Linton, arrived in a text message, then a press release from Canopy.
Bruce Linton was single-handedly the impetus to the legal, global cannabis industry, innovating, leading with a fervor and brilliance unlike any I have ever witnessed. Yet “The Board” (stacked with Constellation executives) did not like the last quarterly results; so, they met last week in secret and dropped the guillotine on Linton last Friday.
Frankly, I am appalled.
The best thing the board can do to ensure Canopy’s future is to beg him to come back and pay restitution. No one will be able to fill his shoes at Canopy in the mine field that is cannabis, here and globally.
I trust a non-compete clause prevents him from surfacing elsewhere in the cannabis sector for some time. The markets are taking a beating on this news.
This is one of the most reckless decisions ever made by a hive of suits. And my concern turns to Smiths Falls who’s economy is almost entirely running on Canopy’s growth.
Constellation dropped $5 billion dollars just last August. We don’t know how much is cash and how much is on paper. It came with clawbacks and conditions to be met in eight months plus two days. It’s moot now.
It’s a story we know well. Big money enters, sets impossible benchmarchs and on the failure to meet them, takes the energy, ideas and developments of the original creator, and tosses him out. This happens again and again. And again.
You see they always think they can do better. I turned down many such term sheets in my past. I did not get rich as I would have; but, I also did not have my ideas taken from me. I turned down a $10 million dollar offer–with six ways to oust me.
It would have been better if Linton had gone the distance with multiple, smaller investors, “panhandling” as he called it. He was always witty.
Now we do not have our cherished Bruce among us. It is a very sad day.
The board will surely swing its machete at Canopy’s investments, plans, operations to cut costs among other moves. Will the multi-use complex we featured days ago remain a dream?
Capitalists need to wear “big boy pants” in this nascent industry, circumventing the vagaries of special interests groups and especially, regulators. You need to invest and spend before you cash in.
This was a premature move. Mark my words, Constellation will soon regret this ill-timed decision. Or they will sell to the highest bidder likely in the pharmaceutical sector.
I will be watching Linton in his next adventure. I trust his creative mind is already at work.
Watch Part 2 of our interview as I ask him about his future at Canopy. (Avoid the echo with earphones or good speakers.)